Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How to Successfully Navigate a Bookstore

We have all had that slightly lost and confused feeling as we walk into a new bookstore. For all of us big book buyers, we probably are okay with the commercial bookstore like Barnes & Noble or local chains, but it's those small, hole-in-the-wall, secret treasures that we find and just can't pass by that confuse us the most. Are the books organized by author name or by title? Are they separated by genre? What books do they think fit in each genre? These are all fair questions, and hopefully after reading this you can feel a little more comfortable walking in to a new bookstore.

1. Survey your surroundings.
Most bookstores know that they are confusing, and they try to help. Some will put signs on the ceiling or on the tops of bookshelves to help you find genres to get a clue as to their organization system. This step is important, because it lets you identify on your own how to navigate this new world you have entered.

2. Take a quick jaunt up and down the aisles.
This will let you get the feel of the bookstore. Now you can glimpse familiar titles as you breeze past, and you can easily locate your favorite sections after you have perused the whole store. Have physical limitations and can't look around the whole store? You can just walk the short distance between the shelves and take a look down. Not as comprehensive as actually walking down the aisles, but it should give you a good idea about which aisle contains what.

This is an important part of the step: don't stop. It's going to be tempting; you are going to see a book you really want, or you may even find your favorite section, but don't stop. There may be a treasure further down the aisles or at the back that you will not have wanted to miss otherwise.

3. Ask the person behind the register.
Yes, this person will either look like your typical disinterested teen or a very busy employee trying desperately to catalog all of the new inventory. However, they are usually more than happy to help a customer who is currently lost in their store. They are working at a bookstore probably because they enjoy books, and they like to share their love just as much as the next bookworm. If you want a specific book, or you don't want to spend the time looking, they know their store better than anyone and can help you look.

4. Enjoy your new bookstore!
This is the most valuable step. As a book enthusiast, you have just discovered a treasure-trove of new stories and worlds for you to dive into. Explore your new store, and don't forget to always keep reading.



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